EP0591208B1 - Fluid pump with levitated impeller - Google Patents

Fluid pump with levitated impeller Download PDF

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Publication number
EP0591208B1
EP0591208B1 EP91918687A EP91918687A EP0591208B1 EP 0591208 B1 EP0591208 B1 EP 0591208B1 EP 91918687 A EP91918687 A EP 91918687A EP 91918687 A EP91918687 A EP 91918687A EP 0591208 B1 EP0591208 B1 EP 0591208B1
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EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
impeller
fluid
pumping chamber
pump
forces
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Lifetime
Application number
EP91918687A
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German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP0591208A1 (en
EP0591208A4 (en
Inventor
Harold D. Kletschka
Original Assignee
KLETSCHKA, Harold D.
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US593695 priority Critical
Priority to US07/593,695 priority patent/US5055005A/en
Application filed by KLETSCHKA, Harold D. filed Critical KLETSCHKA, Harold D.
Priority to PCT/US1991/006027 priority patent/WO1992006297A1/en
Publication of EP0591208A4 publication Critical patent/EP0591208A4/en
Publication of EP0591208A1 publication Critical patent/EP0591208A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP0591208B1 publication Critical patent/EP0591208B1/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
Application status is Expired - Lifetime legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE - DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D29/00Details, component parts, or accessories
    • F04D29/04Shafts or bearings, or assemblies thereof
    • F04D29/046Bearings
    • F04D29/048Bearings magnetic; electromagnetic
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M1/00Suction or pumping devices for medical purposes; Devices for carrying-off, for treatment of, or for carrying-over, body-liquids; Drainage systems
    • A61M1/10Blood pumps; Artificial hearts; Devices for mechanical circulatory assistance, e.g. intra-aortic balloon pumps
    • A61M1/101Non-positive displacement pumps, e.g. impeller, centrifugal, vane pumps
    • A61M1/1012Constructional features thereof
    • A61M1/1013Types of bearings
    • A61M1/1017Hydrodynamic bearings
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE - DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D13/00Pumping installations or systems
    • F04D13/02Units comprising pumps and their driving means
    • F04D13/06Units comprising pumps and their driving means the pump being electrically driven
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE - DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D29/00Details, component parts, or accessories
    • F04D29/18Rotors
    • F04D29/186Shaftless rotors
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE - DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D29/00Details, component parts, or accessories
    • F04D29/40Casings; Connections of working fluid
    • F04D29/42Casings; Connections of working fluid for radial or helico-centrifugal pumps
    • F04D29/426Casings; Connections of working fluid for radial or helico-centrifugal pumps especially adapted for liquid pumps
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE - DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D29/00Details, component parts, or accessories
    • F04D29/40Casings; Connections of working fluid
    • F04D29/42Casings; Connections of working fluid for radial or helico-centrifugal pumps
    • F04D29/44Fluid-guiding means, e.g. diffusers
    • F04D29/445Fluid-guiding means, e.g. diffusers especially adapted for liquid pumps
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE - DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04DNON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT PUMPS
    • F04D5/00Pumps with circumferential or transverse flow
    • F04D5/001Shear force pumps
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02KDYNAMO-ELECTRIC MACHINES
    • H02K7/00Arrangements for handling mechanical energy structurally associated with dynamo-electric machines, e.g. structural association with mechanical driving motors or auxiliary dynamo-electric machines
    • H02K7/14Structural association with mechanical loads, e.g. with hand-held machine tools or fans
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M1/00Suction or pumping devices for medical purposes; Devices for carrying-off, for treatment of, or for carrying-over, body-liquids; Drainage systems
    • A61M1/10Blood pumps; Artificial hearts; Devices for mechanical circulatory assistance, e.g. intra-aortic balloon pumps
    • A61M1/1008Tubes; Connections therefor
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M1/00Suction or pumping devices for medical purposes; Devices for carrying-off, for treatment of, or for carrying-over, body-liquids; Drainage systems
    • A61M1/10Blood pumps; Artificial hearts; Devices for mechanical circulatory assistance, e.g. intra-aortic balloon pumps
    • A61M1/101Non-positive displacement pumps, e.g. impeller, centrifugal, vane pumps
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M1/00Suction or pumping devices for medical purposes; Devices for carrying-off, for treatment of, or for carrying-over, body-liquids; Drainage systems
    • A61M1/10Blood pumps; Artificial hearts; Devices for mechanical circulatory assistance, e.g. intra-aortic balloon pumps
    • A61M1/101Non-positive displacement pumps, e.g. impeller, centrifugal, vane pumps
    • A61M1/1012Constructional features thereof
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M1/00Suction or pumping devices for medical purposes; Devices for carrying-off, for treatment of, or for carrying-over, body-liquids; Drainage systems
    • A61M1/10Blood pumps; Artificial hearts; Devices for mechanical circulatory assistance, e.g. intra-aortic balloon pumps
    • A61M1/101Non-positive displacement pumps, e.g. impeller, centrifugal, vane pumps
    • A61M1/1012Constructional features thereof
    • A61M1/1013Types of bearings
    • A61M1/1015Magnetic bearings
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M1/00Suction or pumping devices for medical purposes; Devices for carrying-off, for treatment of, or for carrying-over, body-liquids; Drainage systems
    • A61M1/10Blood pumps; Artificial hearts; Devices for mechanical circulatory assistance, e.g. intra-aortic balloon pumps
    • A61M1/101Non-positive displacement pumps, e.g. impeller, centrifugal, vane pumps
    • A61M1/1029Drive systems therefor
    • A61M1/1031Drive systems therefor using a motor with canned rotor, i.e. a motor enclosed within a casing along with the rotor so that the motor bearings are lubricated by the blood that is being pumped
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M1/00Suction or pumping devices for medical purposes; Devices for carrying-off, for treatment of, or for carrying-over, body-liquids; Drainage systems
    • A61M1/10Blood pumps; Artificial hearts; Devices for mechanical circulatory assistance, e.g. intra-aortic balloon pumps
    • A61M1/12Blood pumps; Artificial hearts; Devices for mechanical circulatory assistance, e.g. intra-aortic balloon pumps implantable into the body
    • A61M1/122Heart assist devices, i.e. for assisting an ailing heart, using additional pumping means in the blood circuit
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10STECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10S415/00Rotary kinetic fluid motors or pumps
    • Y10S415/90Rotary blood pump

Abstract

A fluid pump (10) with rotary impeller (16) is disclosed which comprises an electromagnetically (30) driven rotary impeller levitated by localized opposed fluid forces. Levitation by localized opposed fluid forces (52) of an impeller driven by electromagnetic forces eliminates the need for bearings and seals in the driving mechanism. This avoids the heat build-up and leakage associated with other pumping mechanisms, which can be of importance for pumping of physiological fluids such as blood. The levitating fluid forces of the present invention are auto-adjusting, such that any attempted displacement of the impeller will automatically incur a corrective change in levitating fluid forces. However, fluid force sensors and regulators could be incorporated into the present invention if desired. The invention should be of use in numerous medical and non-medical applications where the benefits of impeller levitation by localized fluid forces are apparent.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates to a fluid pump with rotary impeller, and more particularly, to a fluid pump including an electromagnetically driven rotary impeller levitated by localized opposed fluid forces. Levitation of the impeller by fluid forces allows for high efficiency in converting power into useful work. Thus, a relatively small energy source can be used and the life of the energy source is correspondingly extended. Moreover, use of a levitated impeller driven by electromagnetic forces eliminates the need for bearings and seals in the driving mechanism, thereby avoiding the heat build-up and leakage attendant with other rotary pump inventions. Such considerations can be of critical importance for pumping of physiological fluids such as blood.
  • A large number of mechanisms for pumping fluids have been described in the art, including, for example, peristaltic pumps, moving diaphragm pumps, piston-type pumps, and centrifugal or rotary pumps. Generally, a rotary pump includes a pumping chamber with inlet and outlet ports and an impeller mounted within the pumping chamber for rotation about an axis. Frequently the impeller is mounted on a shaft that extends through one or more seals and a bearing apparatus to a rotational driving mechanism outside the pumping chamber. Rotary pumps employing shaft-mounted impellers with shaft seals are exemplified in the following U.S. patents: Dorman et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,608,088; Rafferty et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,647,324; Reich et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4,135,253; Clausen et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4,589,822; Moise U.S. Pat. No. 4,704,121; Kletschka U.S. Pat. No. 4,844,707. Shaft seals are susceptible to wear and heat build-up, which can lead to leakage and, in the case of blood pumps, to thrombogenic (clot-forming) problems.
  • Other pump inventions employ liquid or hydrostatic bearings to reduce heat build-up and/or to dissipate heat and to reduce frictional forces in rotation of the shaft and/or impeller. In these inventions liquid or gas is forced into narrow clearances between the shaft and various bearing assemblies or between the impeller and the impeller housing. The relatively thin fluid or gas films generated in these inventions are nevertheless subject to high shear forces and some incremental heat build-up. The following U.S. patents exemplify the use of such liquid or hydrostatic bearings: Prindle U.S. Pat. Nos. 845,816 and 888,654; Anderson U.S. Pat. No. 2,864,552; Baker et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,122,101; Kambe et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4,475,866.
  • It would, therefor, be a significant advance in the art to provide a rotary fluid pump including a freely rotatable impeller immersed in the pumping fluid and suspended or levitated by localized fluid forces. This would eliminate the need for an impeller drive shaft with its attendant seals and bearings. A blood pump with magnetically suspended and rotated impeller is disclosed in Olsen et al. U.S. Pat. No. 4,688,998. While this invention eliminates the impeller drive shaft, bearings and seals, electrical power is required not only to drive the impeller but also to maintain the impeller in a suspended state. Moreover, the invention requires cooperating electromagnetic sets, sensors, suspension circuits, and sensing circuits for continuously adjusting the position of the impeller in the pump housing. It would therefore be a significant advancement in the art to provide a novel pump apparatus whereby the impeller is levitated and positioned in the pump fluid by an auto-adjusting mechanism and whereby it is possible for all input energy to be directed to rotation of the impeller. Such a novel pump apparatus is disclosed and claimed herein.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In accordance with the instant invention, a rotary pump is disclosed which is composed of a housing defining a pumping chamber with a pumping chamber inlet port and a pumping chamber outlet port; a rotatable impeller disposed in the pumping chamber for rotation about an axis; polarized electromagnetic means for rotating the impeller about the axis; and means for conducting fluid from a high pressure area at the periphery of the impeller and discharging the fluid in opposed directions within a lower pressure area in proximity to the axis of the impeller, thereby levitating and stabilizing the impeller within the pumping chamber.
  • The impeller may be fashioned of various materials. In a preferred embodiment, the impeller may have a density similar to that of the fluid being pumped, thereby facilitating levitation and stabilization of the impeller within the pumped fluid.
  • The impeller may take various shapes, and may or may not possess vanes, depending upon the particular pump application. The impeller may be solid, or may possess internal fluid-filled space in communication with the pumping chamber or with the pumping chamber inlet and/or outlet ports. The impeller may possess opposed inlets near the axis of the impeller communicating with the pumping chamber inlet ports, and opposed outlets at the periphery of the impeller communicating with the pumping chamber outlet port. The impeller may possess axially extending neck portions. Means for levitating the impeller may comprise conduits emanating from the vicinity of the pumping chamber outlet port and terminating in various configurations near the axially extending neck portion(s) of the impeller.
  • Polarized electromagnetic means for rotating the impeller may comprise conducting wire windings within the periphery of the pump housing electromagnetically coupled to permanent magnets housed within the periphery of the impeller.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • Fig. 1 is a sectional diagram of the preferred embodiment of the instant invention.
  • Fig. 2 is a side elevational view of the preferred embodiment shown in Fig. 1. The sectional view of Fig. 1 was taken along line 2-2 of Fig. 2.
  • Fig. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view of the impeller and pump housing, in an orientation analogous to that of Fig. 2.
  • Fig. 4 is a side elevational view of a non-scrolled embodiment of the invention shown in Fig. 2.
  • Fig. 5 is a diagram of a solid impeller with exterior surface vanes.
  • Fig. 6 is a sectional diagram of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • Fig. 7 is a sectional diagram of an impeller with internal vanes, taken along line 6-6 in Fig. 6.
  • Fig. 8 is a sectional diagram of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • Fig. 9 is a sectional diagram of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • Fig. 10 is a diagram of a solid impeller without exterior surface vanes.
  • Fig. 11 is a simplified diagram of a conduit/outlet port junction, taken along line 4-4 in Fig. 4.
  • Fig. 12 is a simplified diagram of an alternative embodiment of a conduit/outlet port junction of the present invention.
  • Fig. 13 is a simplified diagram of a further alternative embodiment of a conduit/outlet port junction of the present invention.
  • Fig. 14 is a sectional diagram of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.
  • Fig. 15 is a fragmentary diagram of the axially extending neck portion of the impeller with associated distal end of a conduit.
  • Fig. 16 is a fragmentary diagram of the axially extending neck portion of the impeller with an alternative embodiment of the distal end of a conduit.
  • Fig. 17 is a fragmentary diagram of the axially extending neck portion of the impeller with a further alternative embodiment of the distal end of a conduit.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Fig. 1 depicts the preferred embodiment of the pump 10 of this invention. The pump comprises a pump housing 12 defining a pumping chamber 14 through which fluid is pumped, an impeller 16, and means 18 for conducting fluid from a higher pressure region 20 near the periphery of the impeller and discharging the fluid in a lower pressure region 21 in proximity to the axis 22 of the impeller 16. The pump housing may be fashioned from two or more component parts secured together with fasteners 24 as shown in Figs. 1 and 2. Alternatively, the pump housing may be fashioned from a single piece of material of seamless construction. The pump housing 12 also defines pumping chamber inlet ports 26 and a pumping chamber outlet port 28. The embodiment depicted in Fig. 1 possesses two pumping chamber inlet ports 26 and a single pumping chamber outlet port 28. The housing 12 could be configured, however, to define a single inlet port or more than two inlet ports, and/or multiple outlet ports. Other configurations of pumping chamber inlet and outlet ports for various applications of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The periphery of the pump housing 12 incorporates electromagnetic wire windings 30 for rotating the impeller 16 about the impeller axis 22. One embodiment of the electromagnetic wire windings 30 is shown in Fig. 3, with windings spaced at regular intervals within the peripheral structure of the pump housing 12. In the embodiment shown in Fig.'s 1, 2 and 3, the wire windings 30 are electromagnetically coupled to permanent magnets 32 housed within the peripheral structure of the impeller 16. The pumping chamber defined by the pump housing can be scrolled, as shown in Fig. 2, or non-scrolled, as shown in Fig. 4. However, the relative positions 34 of the electromagnetic windings 30 in relation to the impeller could be the same in either case, as shown in Figs. 2 and 4. Other configurations of electromagnetic means for rotating the impeller about an axis will be obvious to those skilled in the art.
  • A preferred embodiment of the impeller 16 is shown in Fig. 1. In this embodiment, the impeller 16 possesses axially opposed inlets 36 communicating with the pumping chamber inlet ports 26, and opposed outlets 38 at the periphery of the impeller 16 communicating with the pumping chamber 14 and thereby with the pumping chamber outlet port 28. In operation, fluid enters the opposed inlets 36 of the impeller 16 from the pumping chamber inlet ports 26. An acceleration is imparted to the fluid due to shear forces operating between the interior walls of the rotating impeller 16 and the fluid and between the molecules and particles of the fluid. Fluid exiting the impeller outlets 38 due to centrifugal forces operating within the accelerated fluid imparts circumferentially and radially directed fluid forces to the fluid within the pumping chamber 14. Similarly directed fluid forces are generated by shear forces operating between the outer surfaces 40 of the impeller 16 and the fluid.
  • In the preferred embodiment, the impeller includes opposed, axially extending neck portions 42 that encompass the opposed inlets, as shown in Figs. 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 14. Such neck portions could facilitate levitation of the impeller by providing appropriately directed surfaces upon which the levitating fluid forces may be directed. Numerous other configurations of the impeller 16, however, will be applicable to the concept embodied in the present invention - that of impeller levitation by localized fluid forces. For example, the total frictional force exerted by the impeller 16 on the fluid could be increased by providing additional partitions or walls within the impeller 16 transverse to the axis of rotation. Alternatively, conveying channels could be incorporated into the impeller 16 to extend from the impeller outlets 38 to an area in general proximity to the center of the interior of the impeller 16. Such conveying channels are described in Rafferty et al., Minnesota Medicine 51: 191-193 (1968). As a further alternative embodiment, vanes 44 of various configurations could be placed on the outside of the impeller 16 as shown in Fig. 5, or on the inside of the impeller as shown in Figs. 6, 7, 8, and 9. Generally, in embodiments where the invention is used for the pumping of physiological fluids such as blood, vanes and other structures potentially capable of creating turbulence and/or excessive shear forces will be avoided. However, the invention is suitable for the pumping of any fluid (liquid or gas) where the advantages of impeller levitation by localized fluid forces are desired, and vanes and other structures designed to increase the shear forces generated by the impeller may be useful in such embodiments. In some embodiments, the fluid forces generated solely through interaction of the fluid with the rotating outer surface of the impeller may be adequate for the intended purpose(s). In such embodiments, the impeller 16 could be "solid," i.e., lacking an internal cavity in communication with the pumping chamber via impeller inlets and outlets. Such "solid" impeller embodiments are shown in Figs. 5 and 10. "Solid" impellers of the present invention could include impellers with internal cavities for adjustment of impeller density, but such cavities would be sealed off from communication with the pumping chamber.
  • For biological or medical applications, it would be useful, but not necessary, for the impeller 16 to be of a density similar to that of the fluid being pumped. However in any application and regardless of the density of the impeller 16, it is only necessary that the levitating fluid forces be sufficient to counteract gravitational and inertial forces acting on the impeller 16. Biological and medical uses of the invention could include both human and veterinary applications. Similarly, the invention could be employed to function ex vivo (outside the body) or in vivo (inside the body).
  • Referring again to the preferred embodiment shown in Fig. 1, means 18 for conducting fluid from a region of higher fluid pressure 20 near the periphery of the impeller 16 and discharging in a region of lower fluid pressure 21 so as to stabilize the impeller 16 by levitating fluid forces is comprised of conduits 46 emanating from the pumping chamber outlet port 28. The configuration of the conduit/outlet port junction must be such that the tendency for fluid within the conduit to move toward, rather than away from, the higher pressure fluid flow region within the outlet port 28, in accordance with the Bernoulli Law, is overcome. Referring to Fig. 1, the side-elevational views of the invention 10 as shown in Figs. 2 and 4, and the fragmentary view of the conduit/outlet port junction 47 shown in Fig. 11, the conduit 46 may leave the outlet port 28 at an orientation tangential to the direction of fluid flow within the outlet port in order to achieve the desired result. Alternatively, as shown in Fig. 12, deflectors 48 may be placed within the junction to facilitate diversion of fluid flow into the conduits 46. In a further embodiment as shown in Fig. 13, the diameter of the outlet port "downstream" from the junction 47 may be made smaller than the diameter of the outlet port "upstream" from the junction 47. As shown in Fig. 13, depending on the relative proportions of the diameters of the outlet port 28 on either side of the junction 47, the conduits 46 could emanate from the outlet port 28 perpendicular (Fig. 13), or even retrograde, to the direction of fluid flow in the outlet port 28. Other configurations of the conduit/outlet port junction for overcoming adverse fluid flow dynamics due to the Bernoulli Law will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Configurations analogous to those described above may be used within any fluid flow region of the invention wherein the principles of the Bernoulli Law potentially create less than optimum fluid flow dynamics.
  • The conduits 46 may emanate from separate sites 50 on the outlet port 28, as shown in Figs. 1, 6, 8, 9, and 14. In alternative embodiments, the conduits may emanate from a common tap-off region of the outlet port, or from a separate site or sites off of any region of the pump housing 12 that is in usable proximity to a region of higher fluid pressure. In further alternative embodiments, fluid pressure in the conduits 46 may be developed from a separate source, such as a graft from an artery to the conduit or from a separate pump or pressure source. The conduits may travel in a region exterior to the pump housing, as shown in Figs. 1, 6, 8 and 14. Alternatively, the conduits may travel within the walls of the pump housing, as shown in Fig. 8.
  • Referring again to the preferred embodiment shown in Fig. 1, each conduit 46 terminates in structure defining three fluid jet ports 52 within a lower fluid pressure region in the pumping chamber inlet port 26 in proximity to the axially extending neck portion 42 of the impeller 16. The fluid jets emanating from three fluid jet ports 52 on both sides of the impeller 16, as shown in Fig. 1, define a fluid plane or circle of orientation suitable to prevent the impeller 16 from moving in the axial or radial directions so as to touch the walls of the pump housing 12 or distal ends of the fluid jet ports 52. Each conduit 46 could terminate in more than three fluid jet ports, depending on the shape of the impeller and fluid flow dynamics in specific alternative embodiments of the invention. In the configurations described above, and in alternative embodiments described below, the fluid jet ports are oriented such that the levitating fluid forces are auto-adjusting. That is, a change in corrective force will be automatically or inherently incurred by any attempted displacement in location of the impeller. Alternatively, sensors and fluid flow regulating devices could be incorporated into the conduits 46 and/or fluid jet ports 52 to adjust or assist in adjusting for any attempted displacement in location of the impeller 16. The fluid jet ports 52 may protrude into the pumping chamber 14, as shown in Fig. 1, or may be flush with the inner wall of the housing 12 as shown in Fig. 8. Alternatively, a combination of protruding and non-protruding (flush) fluid jet ports may be employed.
  • The fluid jet ports 52 may be associated with three or more distinct branches 54 of each conduit 46, as shown in Fig. 1. Alternatively, the fluid jet ports 52 may be incorporated into the distal end of a conduit 46 that has been configured to partially (Fig. 15) or completely (Figs. 16, 17) encompass the axially extending neck portion 42 of the impeller 16. The fluid jet ports 52 may be formed from distinct openings within the distal structure 56 of the conduit 46, as shown in Figs. 15 and 16. Alternatively, the entire inner surface of the conduit distal structure could be configured to form a single continuous and circumferential jet port 52 of the appropriate size, location, and orientation, as shown in Fig. 17.
  • The structure of the impeller 16 could be modified to accommodate additional alternative configurations of the conduits and associated fluid jet ports. For example, levitating fluid jets could be discharged within structure 58 incorporated into the impeller inlets 36, as shown in Fig. 9. Alternatively, the levitating fluid jets could be discharged into the concave surface area 60 of a frusto-conical hood element 62 forming part of the distal structure of the axially extending neck portion 42 of the impeller 16, as shown in Fig. 14. Various additional configurations of conduits and fluid jet ports for levitating and stabilizing an impeller of the present invention will be obvious to those skilled in the art.
  • The preferred application of pumps of the instant invention is in the medical field for the pumping of blood, although the invention as embodying impeller levitation by localized fluid forces will be useful in numerous other medical and non-medical pumping applications. In human medicine, it is unknown whether or not a pulsatile blood flow is required for optimum short-term or long-term clinical efficacy of artificial blood pumps. The rotary impeller 16 of the present invention is most conveniently operated in a continuous, non-pulsatile mode. However, depending on the configuration and mode of operation of the electromagnetic means for driving the impeller 16, the mode of operation may be pulsatile, or even intermittent. Likewise, the levitating fluid jets could be operated in a continuous, pulsatile, or intermittent mode. Alternatively, the operation of the impeller and levitating fluid jets could fluctuate between continuous, pulsatile, and intermittent modes, or between any combination of these modes, depending on the structure and intended use of specific embodiments of the present invention. Appropriate modes of operation will be obvious to those skilled in the art.

Claims (11)

  1. A fluid pump comprising:
    a. a housing (12) defining a pumping chamber (14), a pumping chamber inlet port (26) and a pumping chamber outlet port (28),
    b. a rotatable impeller (16), disposed in the pumping chamber (14) for rotation about an axis (22), and
    c. polarized electromagnetic means (30) for rotating the impeller (16) about the axis (22),
       characterised by
    d. means (46) for conducting fluid from the periphery of the impeller (16) and discharging the fluid in opposed directions in proximity to the axis (22) of the impeller (16), to thereby stabilize the impeller (16) by levitating fluid forces.
  2. The fluid pump of claim 1, wherein the impeller (16) possesses opposed inlets (36) in proximity to the axis (22) of the impeller (16) communicating with the pumping chamber inlet port (26), and opposed fluid outlets (38) at the periphery of the impeller (16) spaced from the fluid inlets (36) communicating with the pumping chamber outlet port (28).
  3. The fluid pump of claim 2, wherein said impeller (16) includes opposed axially extending neck portions (42), the proximal portion of each said neck portion (42) being attached to, and centered on, a central axial surface of the impeller (16), and the distal end of each said neck portion (42) being housed within the corresponding adjacent pumping chamber inlet port (26).
  4. The fluid pump of claim 3, wherein said means (46) for conducting fluid from the periphery of the impeller and discharging so as to stabilize the impeller by levitating fluid forces is comprised of conduits emanating from the pumping chamber outlet port (28), each said conduit terminating in structure defining three or more fluid jet ports (52) within the pumping chamber inlet port (26) in proximity to the axially extending neck portion (42) of the impeller (16).
  5. The fluid pump of claim 4, wherein said impeller (16) includes a frusto-conical hood element (62) attached to the distal end of each axially extending neck portion (42), said hood element (62) having a medially-facing concave surface (60) and a distally-facing convex surface.
  6. The fluid pump of claim 5, wherein the fluid jet ports of each conduit terminate within a region of the pumping chamber inlet port subtended by the concave surface of the frusto-conical hood element (62).
  7. The fluid pump of claim 1, wherein said electromagnetic means comprise conducting wire windings (30) housed within the peripheral structure of the pump housing (12) electromagnetically coupled to one or more magnets (32) housed within the peripheral structure of the impeller (16).
  8. The fluid pump of claim 1, further comprising means for regulating the discharge of the fluid toward the impeller (16).
  9. A method for stabilizing the position of a rotatable impeller (16) suspended in fluid in a pumping chamber (14), the impeller (16) having an axis of rotation (22), the pumping chamber (14) having a pumping chamber inlet port (26) and a pumping chamber outlet port (28), characterised by the step of conducting fluid from the periphery of the impeller (16) and discharging the fluid in the pumping chamber (14) in proximity to the axis (22) of the impeller (16) in opposed directions to thereby stabilize the position of the impeller (16) in the pumping chamber (14) by levitating fluid forces.
  10. The method of claim 9, wherein the discharge of the fluid toward the impeller (16) is regulated.
  11. The method of claim 9, wherein the density of said impeller (16) is similar to that of the fluid.
EP91918687A 1990-10-05 1991-08-23 Fluid pump with levitated impeller Expired - Lifetime EP0591208B1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US593695 1990-10-05
US07/593,695 US5055005A (en) 1990-10-05 1990-10-05 Fluid pump with levitated impeller
PCT/US1991/006027 WO1992006297A1 (en) 1990-10-05 1991-08-23 Fluid pump with levitated impeller

Publications (3)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP0591208A4 EP0591208A4 (en) 1993-10-28
EP0591208A1 EP0591208A1 (en) 1994-04-13
EP0591208B1 true EP0591208B1 (en) 1995-11-02

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ID=24375761

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EP91918687A Expired - Lifetime EP0591208B1 (en) 1990-10-05 1991-08-23 Fluid pump with levitated impeller

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US (1) US5055005A (en)
EP (1) EP0591208B1 (en)
AT (1) AT129640T (en)
AU (1) AU8762691A (en)
DE (2) DE69114306T2 (en)
ES (1) ES2079681T3 (en)
MX (1) MX9100875A (en)
WO (1) WO1992006297A1 (en)

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
AT129640T (en) 1995-11-15
ES2079681T3 (en) 1996-01-16
DE69114306T2 (en) 1996-07-11
AU8762691A (en) 1992-04-28
EP0591208A4 (en) 1993-10-28
EP0591208A1 (en) 1994-04-13
MX9100875A (en) 1993-02-01
DE69114306D1 (en) 1995-12-07
US5055005A (en) 1991-10-08
WO1992006297A1 (en) 1992-04-16

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